Worlds of Magic has already more than doubled its target of $5,000. But the team behind Wastelands Interactive, an indie company located in Poland, is so full of ideas on how to expand and involve you in their magical world of fantasy creatures and spells – filled with dwarfs, elves, shrines, dragons, maps, races, temples and The Undead – it seems well worth it to add to the party.
In fact, the game has had a previous successful Kickstarter campaign in April, with 2,001 backers raising £14,593 which allowed them to come this far. This time their aim is to improve the quality of the graphics and add some tools that will improve depth. Have a look at their video for further explanation – and a taste of the magic.
In a nutshell, WoM is the spiritual successor to the PC classic Master of Magic, a 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit and Exterminate) fantasy strategy game. The game has high replay value because each game is procedurally generated. As player you start off by choosing or making a Sorcerer Lord to rule over armies. You’re given a single city, a two unit army and a very small selection of spells. From there your empire must expand, your skills increase, and your legions grow.
Every army is made up of a species, races, with their own specific powers and weaknesses. Elves are different from dwarves. Conquer them and add them to your army.
Your armies can also be made up of units you’ve trained, heroes and mercenaries you’ve hired. When two enemy armies collide gameplay is moved to a procedurally generated battle map where combat is played out turn by turn.
When the campaign hits their $20,000 stretch goal Wastelands Interactive pledges to make 60 more spells on top of their current 200. Because ‘Spells are one of the main things that make Worlds of Magic magical.’ The gamer uses the spells, ‘sorted into twelve different Circles focused on the energies that fuel the spell or the spells’ effects to gain powers.
One of the physical rewards is the Spellbook. But perhaps more impressive is the amount of creative input backers can have. You can name a city in the game; help design a magic item; or have one of the pre-generated Sorcerer Lords to your liking by sending in your picture. This aspect may well be an important factor in what made the crowd sourcing campaign so successful. According to the makers, it’s to really look at creative input rewards. ‘To make the funders feel as if they’re part of the creative process because THEY ARE. It will also help you make a better game.’ Several backers have been helping them to create races. ‘They have given us a number of brilliant ideas to help shape those races, that’s really another advantage of crowd funding.’ Units, racial lore, spells, combat mechanics.. all are being discussed and debated by the backers. This game is constantly being shaped by its future players.
What’s new to the game? Like true puritans Wastelands Interactive (WI) says they’ve continuously asked themselves whether their additions would have worked in the original Master of Magic. The things they implemented add to the feel, mechanics and control over the game.
For instance, a more in-depth ‘magic system’ offering players more control over the spells they cast. In terms of tactical combat mechanics gamers can put together military units that are very different, because they are based on the D20 OGL rule set. Currently they have less races than MoM did when released, but they plan to add more in the future as DLC. ‘We’re also working hard to make some of our race very unique. The Undead (Unhallowed) for instance are going to have a very different feel to them as well as different play mechanics.’
One last advice from the WI team: ‘If you want to get involved with crowd funding start as a backer. Once you’ve done that you’ll be more prepared to launch your own project.’
At the time of publishing the Worlds of Magic Kickstarter campaign has 799 backers together pledging $12,829 and 24 days to go. Deadline is November 3, 2013.